Recruitment for 2024 is closed. Register on our job pages for alerts about upcoming opportunities

If you'd love a job outdoors gaining 26 months paid experience and achieve the new Level 4 Apprentice qualification alongside other vocational qualifications, then this apprenticeship is for you.

The new 'Countryside Worker and Ranger Standard' qualifications align with the previous levels of the work based diplomas in Environmental Conservation, and is equivalent to a foundation level degree.

We manage the scheme in partnership with local agricultural colleges and you will also be enrolled as a student.

Apprentice Rangers receive formal training in the use of brush cutters and first aid. Additional training will be given on various topics including rights of way law, interpretation and wildlife identification. 

Working hours

As an apprentice ranger you will work 37 hours per week, generally 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. This will be flexible on occasions, with potential shift pattern and weekend working if you have a position on one of the country parks.


You will be paid monthly in accordance with Dorset Council's salary structure. There is no extra pay for weekend or evening working.

Leave and Time Off In Lieu (TOIL)

You will be:

  • entitled to 27 days annual leave, with agreement from your line manager
  • entitled to all bank holidays, pro rata depending on your start date and end on Dorset Council leave year
  • able to earn leave through our time off in lieu (TOIL) system
  • required to keep a time and leave record of your hours worked


We will provide you with:

  • a fleece, t-shirts and jumpers
  • a set of waterproofs
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • safety boots

Reviewing your progress

To review your progress, you will have:

  • formal appraisals carried out by the Ranger Service and college throughout the year
  • a 6 month probationary period

Should there be any problems during the placement where disciplinary action needs to take place, this will be carried out using both the college's and our agreed policy and procedures.

Career opportunities

The Apprentice Ranger Scheme offers the chance to gain valuable experience and qualifications to help you take that first step into a career in countryside management.

Typical job titles of roles that successful countryside worker apprentices undertake include:

  • estate worker
  • access ranger
  • maintenance ranger
  • site warden
  • assistant ranger
  • field operative
  • volunteer leader